Along with the grand opening of the brand new Paragon Outlets of Livermore comes new job opportunities, more shopping turf, and freeway congestion that has only just recently begun to clear.
LPC students are among the hundreds of employees hired to work at the Outlets, as well as students at Ohlone College and Merritt College, to name a few. Parents and fellow residents have also taken advantage of the opportunities that the Outlets present.
“I went to the job fair on October 23 (at Robert Livermore Community Center) with my daughter and we went through two rooms of lines,” Cathy Chin, fitting room attendant at Last Call by Neiman Marcus, said. “It was worth the wait.”
According to the San Francisco Business Times, the Paragon Outlets will bring in a total of 2,800 jobs and approximately $2 million in sales tax revenue. Job fairs held at Robert Livermore on Sept. 11 and Oct. 23 and hiring booths on the LPC campus helped to fill all the necessary positions.
Among the new hirees are high school students such as Chin’s daughter, showing that employment opportunities presented by the Outlets benefit those from all across the board.
“My daughter was hired and she’s seventeen,” Chin said. “It’s a neat opportunity for them to start. There were 1,700 people at that first job fair. What kind of opportunity can you see so many vendors, so many different employers who you can interview within one hour?”
As to whether or not the Paragon Outlets will compete on the same level with Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton, only time will tell.
“I think it’s a little different audience, personally. I think that here caters to a bit higher, more upscale clientele. I don’t see it as much of competition ‘cause we have so many more — we have Gucci, Prada, Chanel — it’s amazing what we have,” Chin said. “Christmas time will tell. I think we’ll do really well because we’re in a location that’s central for everybody.”
Since its opening on Nov. 8, the Outlets have been clogged with shoppers curious as to whether or not the stores live up to their expectations.
“It’s been a ten (on a scale of how crazy it’s been),” Jazmen Callum, employee at the GAP factory store and student at Merritt College in Oakland, said. “It dies down at night, but it’s been crazy over the weekend.”
With the holiday season coming soon, the Paragon Outlets are sure to see a continuing steady flow of customers. Each store has its own opening time on Black Friday, some even opening as early as 10 p.m. on Thursday night.
“Every store is different,” Chin said, “but after pumpkin pie, come over here and celebrate with us!”